A Tea Party Airlines flight made a scheduled stop in Austin, Texas, today, destroying offices of the Internal Revenue Service.
It was a one-way trip. The pilot, disgruntled software engineer Joe Stack, punched his own ticket, according to The New York Times:
The authorities identified the pilot as Joseph A. Stack III, 53, and said his body had not yet been recovered from the building. The other person who was still unaccounted for was described by officials as a federal employee. A long, angry note posted on the Internet, on a Web site registered to Mr. Stack and signed “Joe Stack,” appeared to have been written by the pilot, though authorities had not confirmed the connection. By midafternoon, the company that hosted the site had taken the note down, saying it was acting at the request of the F.B.I.
The note related a long history of financial difficulties and frustrations with the nation’s tax and health care systems and with setbacks like the sharp decline of defense-related employment in southern California in the 1990s and the disruption of air travel after the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001. It ended with passages strongly suggesting that its author expected to die on Thursday, including a reference to Feb. 18, 2010, as his date of death.
“I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different,” the note concluded. “I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.”
The F.B.I., which set up a command post near the scene of the crash, has a small satellite office — part of the bureau’s San Antonio field office — in a different part of the office complex where the crash took place.
Bill Carter, an F.B.I. spokesman, said the criminal inquiry was in its early stages. “It’s a fluid situation that’s under investigation,” he said, which was echoed in a statement by Texas Gov. Perry. “There are a lot of indications but nothing definitive yet.”
As for Mr. Stack’s apparent suicide note, Mr. Carter said, “That’s being looked at by our San Antonio office, if that is a real note by this individual.”
OK, PERHAPS I'M being unfair with the Tea Party Airlines crack, though it's tough to pass up a line like that about such a confederacy of paranoid and angry dunces.
But on the other hand, while not all of Stack's rantings in his manifesto of a suicide note match up with what we take to be the "tea party position" (as amorphous a concept as that might be), enough of it sounded familiar enough to make an instant connection.
From Stack's website . . . before the Federal Bureau of Investigation ordered it taken down:
We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation”. I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot”, traitor and worse.
While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.
Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political “representatives” (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the “terrible health care problem”. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.
I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at “big brother” while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.
I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of s*** at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.
I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.
THERE'S ENOUGH in Joe "Blow Your" Stack's dispatch from around the bend to have the "progressives" and the "patriots" arguing forever over who gets to claim him. Me, I lean toward the teabaggers because of one important thing.
They're the ones combining some nasty demagoguery with barely cloaked insurrectionist rhetoric. They're the ones trying to tell you that you're living under tyranny, and that President Obama is Joe Stalin in blackface.
They're the ones -- too many of them, at least -- getting into bed with the "patriot" movement as the far-right "militias" lurk in the shadows.
They're the ones painting any government big enough to deal with a 21st-century nation of 300 million as big enough to be an inherently wicked proposition.
They're the ones with the "Don't Tread on Me" flags from the American Revolution. They're the ones talking about a "new revolution." They're the ones prattling on about "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Yes, Thomas Jefferson was the first to say that -- in 1787. His slave and mistress, Sally Hemings, didn't know nothin' 'bout no tree of liberty, however -- she was the personal property of Mr. Freedom.
I'M JUST FINE with heaping blame on the tea-party crowd because they've not been particularly particular about the sort of nuts with whom they jump in bed. I mean, what's one more, right?
Maybe I'd feel differently if they were more uncomfortable with the loons. Or if they didn't think their being mad as hell was the basis for anything other than being mad as hell.
Or maybe it was just those "THANK YOU GLENN BECK" signs when they were marching on Washington. Then again, it could have been all those instances of teabaggers trying to see how close they could get to Barack Obama while carrying firearms.
It remains that the tea-party movement once again has mainstreamed the idea of open insurrection against the United States' constitutionally mandated government, and thus has given a homicidal fruitcake like Joe Stack reason to believe his kamikaze mission would somehow be ennobled.
The lunatic is in their heads. And now American blood is on their hands.